B2B Sales and Marketing: my, how the world changed
Focus.com hosted another great roundtable on B2B sales with three top sales experts. (Please note that I hosted a similar roundtable on B2B lead generation.)
Three top sales experts, Dave Stein, Charles Green, and Dave Brock had a very provocative discussion on the “profound changes we are going through in sales and it is having major effect on our careers.”
The question addressed to these experts: Are we at an infection point – a profound turning point?
These men talked about how customers have vastly more power than in the past. “More change in the last 3 years in professional selling than in the past 100 years” – Dave Stein. “Incredible change in power shifting from sellers to buyers.”
Technology helps buyers and can help or hurt sellers.
Sales 101 does not get the job done anymore. The basic sales call, understanding needs, writing a proposal is not enough. Sales will never be the same again. The job is changing radically.
Focus on the partnership with customers. No adversarial relationship. Complex sales is just table stakes today.
Instill a business-oriented approach. Train salespeople on business issues – how to read a balance sheet. “page 123 in your 10-K is where my product can help.”
No longer sharing product info (it’s all on the web), so it is more important to build trust and serve. Dave shared how SAP sells using sales teams with the top sales exec being very, very powerful. Need new skills and competencies – project management.
They also talk about the need to focus on B2B lead generation, content marketing and inbound marketing. Blurring of boundaries between sales and marketing. Everybody’s job is to bring in revenue. Amen!
If you are a VP of Sales or even a CEO, this is one show you’ll want to listen to.
Jeff Ogden is President of the B2B lead generation consultancy, Find New Customers. He is passionate about changing the world of B2B marketing and sales. Follow Jeff on Twitter or download his highly acclaimed white paper, How to Find New Customers.